One of the things I was most interested to find out this season was how the West and East stacked up against one another. A number of fans have taken the perspective that the East may have caught up or even surpassed the West, especially now with swap of Detroit and Columbus.
Last season, there were no inter-conference games at all -- each conference operated essentially as an independent league -- so there was no way to test the relative strengths of the conferences empirically. This season, we have more inter-conference games in the schedule than ever before, so we should have plenty of data by the end of the season to make a good judgment.
But how are they doing so far? Granting the usual caveats -- the season is only a few weeks old, teams have not played an equal number of inter-conference games, our sample size is still very small, etc. -- even I was stunned by how lopsided the figures are at this early point.
As of this morning, East and West have played 32 times, with the West winning a staggering 23 of those contests. Western teams have taken 49 of a possible 64 points from the East (.766), with the East picking up just 22 (.344).
As I said, it's still very very early and our sample is both small and unbalanced, so a lot can still change. But the early figures at least provide some evidence that the West is still probably the best.